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1967 Ghia 450SS

Known more for their role in lending a design edge to some Fords and Volkswagens over the years, Ghia developed a few of their own cars years ago, albeit in small numbers. The 450SS was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro during his stint at the design firm. Unveiled at the 1966 Turin International Auto Show, it was produced through 1967, with a limited number of 52 being built by hand. These cars were built on a Plymouth Barracuda chassis and were powered by Chrysler’s 273 V8 mated to a 3-speed Torqueflite transmission. Rarer than most Italian exotics, these Ghias are certainly attention getters and one of the most elegant looking roadsters of the period.

Year: 1967
Model: 450SS
Engine: 4.8 liter V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: N/A
Price: Reserve auction


Carriage House Motor Cars is pleased to offer a very special and unusual 1967 Ghia 450 SS for bid. This car is 1 of 52 ever produced and one of less than half that number known to still exist. It features it's original 273 Formula S Plymouth Barracuda V8 and 3 Speed TorqueFlite Automatic Transmission. The vision of Hollywood producer Burt Sugarman, these cars were produced for only a couple of years (1966-67) and were sold for the staggering sum at that time of $13,000. Giorgetto Giugiaro designed the original concept known as the Ghia GT based on a Fiat 2100 chassis and proudly displayed the car at the 1966 Turin Automobile Show.

This example was the property of a prominent collector here in the New York Area and originally a rust free car from Southern California. Cosmetically superb with very nice paint and chrome, Borrani Wire Wheels that were just detailed and the optional factory hardtop. The soft top is good condition and a very nice original leather interior. Mechanically the car is very nice with a smooth running original Barracuda drivetrain featuring the Formula S V8 and 3 Speed Torqueflite Automatic Transmission. This car is sold as is and for further information, please call Scott at 914-450-0568. Carriage House Motor Cars reserves the right to cancel this auction at any time.

A Ghia 450SS in good condition will range between $85,000 to $125,000. This particular car appears to have been restored at some point, although that is not confirmed in the ad. Italian American hybrids such as these are good for collectors who are a bit gun shy of taking on the challenge of exotic car ownership. With its Chrysler engine and drivetrain, parts are easier to source and reliability is much higher than if it would have come equipped with a bespoke Italian engine. The only problem I could see with this car is having to answer the never ending question to passers by: "what is it?"


1968 Autobianchi Bianchina Berlina Quattroposti

Developed off the Fiat 500 platform, the Autobianchi Bianchina was designed to offer small car customers a little bit more style and luxury. It's quite rare to come across one of these cars in the US, but this late model Berlina Quattroposti for sale in North Carolina would certainly make for an interesting around town runabout, especially in this era of ever increasing fuel costs.

1968 Autobianchi Bianchina Quattroposti

Sold to me by the President of the Fiat 500 club in the Netherlands. this is a very original Fiat 500 derivative (all Fiat 500 mechanicals), Autobianchi Bianchina. This body style was not sold in the US and was meant for the Italian market only. The previous owner bought it directly from the original owner in italy.

This car is largely original and un-restored but runs and drives, has low miles and is a great collectors car for shows and parades. At only 10 ft long its about 2/3 the size of a normal car. The body is in great shape for a 1960's Italian Car but does have a couple of issues. Most notably the rear lid has rust through and will need to eventually be replaced, there is also a rust hole in the drivers door, some pitting on the chrome and the bumpers have been painted silver. The interior is original to 1968 and is overall good. the top is usable but definitely old as are the seat covers, one of them has a seam split. All the electrics work and I have personally driven this car on some short ventures.

The Bianchina Quattroposti has 4 somewhat usable seats and a backward slanted rear glass that adds a very classic look. This was the upscale version of the Fiat 500 and makes an appearance in the movie "Roman Holiday." Mechanically it starts, stops, turns tightly and sounds like a Fiat 500, same engine and transmission.

For a similar vintage 500L in good condition, you can expect to pay in the range of $15,000 to the low $20,000 range. The Autobianchi variant is a little bit obscure in this market, and the condition here is a little bit rough, but originality has its merits at times. Somewhere around $10,000 to $13,000 is probably a good estimate as to where this Bianchina will sell for.


1966 Bizzarrini 5300 GT

The Bizzarrini is one of the most obscure and mythical Italian vehicles ever produced. For a country that is known for its exotic machinery, that certainly is saying something. The 5300 GT was another one of those Italo-American collaborations, with fanciful bodywork and a Corvette V8 underhood. Rarely do we see these cars for sale but this 5300 GT up for auction in California is perhaps one of the best ones out there.

1966 Bizzarrini 5300 GT

This is a very rare and special Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada – it is highly original with only three owners from new. This 1966 Bizzarrini GT 5300 has won numerous awards: it was the Bizzarrini Class Winner at The Quail, A Motor Sport Gathering in August 2012 and it won the Owner’s Choice Award at The Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in August 2011. This Bizzarrini GT 5300 has also received many other awards over the years.

This is one of the finest and most authentic Bizzarrini GT 5300 Stradas in existence. Bizzarrinis of this character rarely come up for public sale. This Bizzarrini GT 5300 has the desirable series 1 door handles and series 1 dashboard. The car has never had any body damage, has never been raced and is in outstanding condition. The engine and transmission are original.

This Bizzarrini is in spectacular condition and runs perfectly. It is ready for show or a 1,000-mile drive. It is one of the finest and most authentic Bizzarrini GT 5300 Stradas in existence. The Bizzarrini GT 5300 provides a ticket to an exclusive club – with approximately 115 of all types produced and an estimate of less than 100 still in existence, a Bizzarrini GT 5300 is always a rare car at any classic car event.

Make: Bizzarrini
Model: GT 5300 Strada
Year: 1966
Chassis number: IA3*0256
Exterior: Alloy body painted silver
Interior: Black suede leather
Engine: Corvette 327 cid with 4 Weber carburetors
Odometer: 47,209 kilometers (29,334 miles)
Number made: Approximately 115 of all types
Multiple Award Winner

Bizzarrinis are not easy cars to value, due to their scarcity and that few exchange hands on a regular basis. With an opening bid of $700,000 and the reserve not yet met, only serious collectors need apply. With the history of awards this car has won and original drivetrain in tact, this is certainly a car for someone who wants to stand out at the concours. While it may be hard to source certain trim and suspension items for this car, at least the drivetrain will be relatively reliable and easy to service, given its humble GM origins.


1953 Cisitalia 33DF Voloradente

Known for being one of the first seven automotive designs honored by New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Cisitalia 202 has long since epitomized the pinnacle of Italian design. It was also a revolutionary exercise in style, as the fenders, headlights and hood were all integrated into one smooth, flowing shape. While the 202 is the most well known of the Cisitalias, its successor wasn't as famous. Based on Fiat 1100 mechanicals, the 33DF Voloradente, or "low flying" in Italian, was capable of a 105 mph top speed, which was quite a feat for a four cylinder engine at the time. About fourteen or fifteen of these cars were ever produced, with five of them being aluminum bodied. This 33DF for sale in The Netherlands is one of those five.

1953 Cisitalia 33DF Voloradente

This car was driven by the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally champion for about 20 years. Only 5 of these aluminum versions were made. When Cisitalia intended to create a successor to their immensely successful 202 series Berlinetta it was not difficult to decide to use the brilliant Fiat 1100 ‘103’ series running gear as a basis for their new concept car. This reliable engine has a rich postwar automotive racing history as it was used in several small capacity competition classes: in saloon car racing and rallying the Fiat 1100 TV showed great potential, in GT and sports car racing it was often the basis of many Italian racing specials constructed by Stanguellini, Cisitalia, Nardi, Moretti and others. Even in the illustrious Formula Junior category it was the technology of choice as applied by Stanguellini, Volpini, Taraschi, OSCA and many other Italian racing car constructors!

As early as 1953 Cisitalia presented this 33DF Volo Radente, which means in translation more or less a 'sharp flight.' It was intended as a ‘Berlinetta da Corsa’ in the small capacity class of the early and mid fifties. Probably not more than 20 examples of various versions were constructed over the years. The responsible designer was Aldo Brovarone. With its small capacity engine it did 170 km/hr, an amazing performance for a comfortable coupe with an engine based on an 1100 cc four cylinder unit! But it was not only the speed that put it in a class of its own, also the brakes and suspension excelled assuring a perfect balance with a very sporty and almost unbeatable road behavior in its class, fully supporting the special name ‘Volo Radente’! The coachwork was quite advanced in 1953 giving ample space and lots of light inside the car using unusually large windows. Some interesting design features of the early Abarth 205/A Berlinetta were incorporated, like the large wrap around rear window, most unusual at that time. The luxurious appointed interior gave the driver and the passenger a feeling of sporty luxury, synonymous for the high quality associated with Cisitalia.

The racy 33DF was followed by the 35DF and finally the more luxurious and less sporty appointed 36 DF of which only a few examples were built before Cisitalia ceased production. Chassis number 00510 has a 1084 cc engine with two downdraft Weber carburetors, linked to the strong Fiat 4 speed gearbox with sporty floor shift. Valves, pistons, camshaft and porting have been reworked. The coachwork is made of all aluminum and also designed by Brovarone. The car is on alloy rimmed Borrani wire wheels and equipped with specially made alloy ventilated drum brakes.

The history of 00510 is fully known since its ‘birth’ and already as early as 1972 the well known 'Automotoclub Storico Italiano' (ASI) registered the car as a historical vehicle. On the early ASI papers the car is described with a total weight of 880 kg, including petrol and spare wheel. At that time it was owned by Felice Marchese of Voghera, Italy, the Rally Monte Carlo winner of 1971. Still on its original ‘black plate’ Italian number plates 326073 Mi chassis number 00510 is one of the very few surviving examples of this historically significant car.

Over the many years of its life it was entered in rally and hill climb competition. Sundry photos and documents show the car as early as 1976 in major Italian and Swiss historic events. The car performed extremely well, often making the magazine and even newspapers headlines. Quite a few original newspaper clippings witness this. Known drivers are Introzzi, Ganoglio and the mentioned Felice Marchese. Mr. Marchese owned the car for several decades, actually until his death. Later the car was the property of Gabriella Marchese and/or the son.

In recent years the car underwent a thorough body-off restoration in Italy. With the preservation of the original details the car was restored with great care and can now be considered to be one of the very few remaining 33DF’s in the world, ready for about any historic automobile event in the world, including the Mille Miglia where it will be a serious contender, feeling perfectly at home on the straights and on the twisty mountain roads! Asking price €190,000

Any time a manufacturer gets one of its cars exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, you know it's going to reflect favorably on the brand. Add into that the rarity factor we have going on here, and you have a car worth more than some of the priciest Abarths out there. This very Cisitalia was sold last year at Retromobile for €148,920 and was curiously advertised then as a 1954 model. It appears from my research that in fact it is a 1954 model according to the serial number and that the seller has misadvertised the vehicle. In less than one year, could such an obscure classic appreciate more than €50,000? In this market, probably not.


1973 DeTomaso Pantera L

One of the most famous Italian-American vehicle collaborations, the DeTomaso Pantera succeeded the Mangusta and would go on to be a much more successful sports car, with over 7,000 produced. These cars would be sold through Lincoln Mercury dealers in the US, and it gave Ford something exotic to draw people into the showrooms. Powered by a Ford 351 Cleveland V8 and a ZF gearbox, these cars had a lot more pulling power from the low end as compared to their Italian competitors. Pantera imports to the US stopped in 1975, but the car soldiered on all the way until 1991. This 1973 example for sale in Arizona has aged well, aided by the relatively neutral dark silver hue.

1973 DeTomaso Pantera L

1973 DeTomaso Pantera L

Body: The car was originally silver and was media blasted to bare metal and professionally painted by Finishing Touch Refinish in Fountain Hills Arizona in 2007. Aston Martin Tungsten Silver is now the cars color. Wheels are painted with a matte finish Mercedes Benz 744 Silver. Rocker panels and the exposed plastic portion of the door handles, generally black from the factory, are color matched to the car. This is a 1973 DeTomaso Pantera L which came from the factory with the large front rubber bumper and large projecting rear metal bumper. The rear bumper has been deleted from the car to give the body a nicer line and allow for the use of an original ANSA GTS header and muffler system. The rear bumper and mounts will be included in the sale. The Ford style rectangular drivers’ side mirror has been replaced by one from a Dino Ferrari which gives a nice line to the car. A Ford NOS drivers’ side mirror will be included with the sale. “Ghia”, “DeTomaso” and “Pantera” emblems were not installed on the car. Fresh DeTomaso / Pantera and original Ghia emblems come with the car. The car is badged with the front bumper DeTomaso “Family Crest” emblem and the “Powered By Ford” rear deck emblem. Clear bra added to rocker panels and rear haunches where tires could throw debris.

Engine: Numbers Matching 351CJ
Engine Rebuilt by Don Woodard, Phoenix, AZ October 2001.
Completely balanced, TRW pistons #L2379, SS valves, Crowler Cam #15242, Crowler roller rockers #73615, Gear Drive, Holley 700 cfm #0-4778C, Ford Drua-Spark Ignition with Ford Motorsport Ignition Module (made by MSD for Ford Motorsport), Pantera specific McLoud clutch, Jet Hot Coated ANSA GTS headers and mufflers, Carbon Fiber Air Cleaner Assembly. Ford high torque starter.

Transaxle: Numbers matching ZF 5 speed in excellent working order. New Spicer half-shafts and u-joints. Transaxle was inspected by Roy Butfoy in the late 1970’s.

Suspension: Powder coated A-arms, new bushings (non-polyurethane), freshly rebuilt Koni shocks with spring spacers removed. Fresh ball joints, front and rear wheel bearings. Chrome on springs and torsion bars.

Brakes: Stock Girling front brakes.
Upgraded 3 piston rear Girling Brakes (as used on Ferrari Lamborghini & Jaguar) and Brembo Emergency brakes. New master cylinder. Vented brake rotors. Fresh Front brake pressure reducer – not installed secondary to wheel and tire combination.

Wheels / Tires: Freshly painted (matte finish Mercedes Benz 744 Silver) Campagnolo Pantera Magnesium Alloy wheels.
Rear: 10 x 15 GTS wheels mounted to AVON CR6-zz 295/50R/15 (DOT approved tire)
Front: 7 x 15 front wheels mounted to TOYO Proxes RA1 225/50ZR/15 (DOT approved tire)
(also have the original 8 inch rear wheels)

Cooling: Fluidyne aluminum radiator and upgraded cooling fans, Ford GT expansion tank upgrade (modern cooling system), all new rubber hoses.

Electrical: Ford 100 amp 3G alternator, 12 volt relay switching to reduce current to electric windows, horn and headlight switches. Tachometer reworked by North Hollywood Speedometer to be compliant with ignition module.
Ammeter, included with sale, was removed and replaced by a period Veglia clock. (There is a potential fire danger when using a high amperage alternator with the Veglia Borletti ammeter.) Windshield wiper conversion to a single arm unit which parks on the passenger’s side. New Hella (H4) headlights and two color rear lights (orange blinker section).

Heater / AC: Blower box installed and wired, but AC and Heater hoses are not routed to the box. New AC condenser. Heater hoses and AC compressor and hoses are not installed on car but are included with the sale.

Interior: Fresh molded seat foams. Seating surfaces are from Wilkinson Pantera from the 1970’s and are in good shape with no tears. Radio delete plate with “DeTomaso” script. New floor and rear bulkhead carpets. New head liner (very rare snake bite pattern) purchased years ago and just installed fall 2011. Fresh, speaker delete, door panels. No tears in arm rests. Sun visors are tight - they will not drift down when driving the car. Fresh leather on a Vintage MOMO Steering wheel with a flush mounted MOMO center cap. Have a perfect stock steering wheel that will be included with the car. Window glass and stainless accents are in good to excellent shape. All stainless trim was polished when it was off the car.

Front Compartment: Old felt removed during restoration and final body color added to front compartment. Fluydine radiator, Optima Battery, highly detailed power brake booster, brake and clutch cylinders. Fresh weather-strip. All factory badges attached. Small area of paint blistering under windshield wash reservoir secondary to spillage of brake fluid.

Rear Compartment: Old factory coating removed during restoration and final body color added to rear compartment. All factory badges attached. Fiberglass cargo carrier has new felt and new locking Dzus style fasteners. Original spare tire. Original tool bag with original jack, jack handle and ratchet. Have replaced the wrenches with vintage HAZET’s. Wiring is routed through the body frame. Very few exposed wires in the engine compartment. Fresh rear deck shocks. Fresh weather-strip.

Undercarriage: Clean. Undercoating was not removed during restoration. Powder coated water tubes. New brake and clutch tubing. Rebuilt steering rack.

I purchased this car in 1976, sold it to my brother while I attended college and repurchased the car. Prior to being licensed in Arizona (2011), the car was licensed in Washington State. The last renewal date on the Washing tabs was in 1978. Prior to Arizona licensing and road testing in 2011, the car was inspected by Les Gray (current president of Pantera Owners Club of America). The car was appraised in November 2011 for 92,500 dollars by Penn Black of “Auto Appraisal Network”. The appraiser has a YouTube video of the car taken in Nov. 2011 under the title “PennBlack Pantera”.

The great thing about the Pantera is that you can get a lot of exotic Italian style with American reliability for not a lot of cash as compared to the usual Ferraris or Lamborghinis. At a shade under $45,000 to about $70,000 is the order of the day when it comes to Panteras of this vintage and I'd suspect this example would probably reach to the upper end of that range.


1967 Iso Grifo 7.0

Renzo Rivolta, the engineer behind Iso, got his start by manufacturing refrigerators in 1939. Hence the name Iso, deriving from the name "Isothermos." Eventually the company moved onto motorcycle and scooter production, followed by microcars such as the Isetta, which was licensed by BMW. With the help from Giotto Bizzarrini, Rivolta went about creating his first attempt at a sports cars, powered by a 327 cubic inch V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette. Called the Rivolta, this car was achingly beautiful, having been designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro during his stint at Bertone.

The follow on to the Rivolta was the Grifo, built on a modified Rivolta chassis and powered by the same small block Chevrolet engine. Later on in the production run, the small block engine gave way to the big block Chevrolet 454 engine. With a fastback body and engine pushed rearward into the cabin, this car has a much more hunkered down versus the Rivolta, which was more of a luxury coupe. For sale in New York, this Grifo comes with an interesting history and a few modern updates.

1967 Iso Grifo 7.0

Ruby Red with Tan leather interior, 5 miles since restorations, ZF 5-speed transmission and air conditioning. This 7.0 Liter Grifo, “The Ennezeta” is believed to be the last Grifo remaining on the assembly line when the factory closed in 1974. It is well known in Iso Owner’s Club circles. It was completed sometime thereafter by a well known fabrication firm, Ennezeta, established by several former Iso employees. The car was VIN number (223225). Beyond the unique history, the car incorporates several distinct characteristics from other Grifos, these include a lower profile hood than big-block Grifo’s and lower valance panels including rear brake cooling ducts. Combined with the vibrant color set off by the brushed aluminum trim, the car has tremendous presence. The car was honored most recently as part of Quail Lodge’s 50 Anniversary commemoration of Iso automobiles.

The car is well known to Autosport Designs where the car was purchased in 2003 by its present owner. The present owner undertook a number of upgrades completed by Autosport Designs to make it well suited for long distance touring. These included the addition of a stereo and trunk-mounted CD changer with the controller discretely placed in the ashtray and rear speakers placed in leather trimmed enclosures beneath the rear parcel shelf, electronic ignition and a Richmond six speed transmission. The original ZF 5-speed is included with the car. Price: $265,000.

This Grifo is in good shape, but I'm not exactly certain why the seller has this advertised as a 1967. This car is being described as one of the last Grifos to emerge from the factory, in addition to having the later big block engine. I'm guessing this is probably a 1974 model, given that was the last year of Grifo production. However, with the earlier front end styling, it could be an earlier production model with later updates. Whatever this car might be, there are questions that need to be answered.

The market for Grifos ranges roughly from $150,000 to $250,000. Given the unique history of this car, I'm surprised the owner made so many modifications, even if it makes the car more drivable. At least the original ZF transmission is included. It's not surprising the asking price is well over $200,000, but whether an exotic with an obscure badge will command the asking price remains to be seen.


1963 Iso Rivolta GT

We normally don't feature fixer-uppers here on CICFS, but the Iso Rivolta is such a rare, beautiful piece that in any state, it deserves a bit of respect. The brainchild of Renzo Rivolta, this car combined a Chevrolet 327 cubic inch V8 with Giugiaro styling to produce what was one of the most handsome Italo-American collaborations. This Rivolta for sale in Texas looks fairly complete and has had some work done already, but needs a bit more effort to bring it back to its former glory.

1963 Iso Rivolta GT

1968 Iso Rivolta GT #51. This car was built in 1963, but not titled until 1968. It has been in Dallas for over 30 years by the same owner. It is a running, driving project. Recently rebuilt 350, Muncie 4-speed. New brakes and clutch. Has factory trunk A/C. Power steering now converted to rack and pinion. New correct front floors. Rear floors are a little weak. New headliner and windshield rubber. Lots of extra parts to include. Euro gauges, six Campagnolo knockoffs, two rear ends and a correct 327 block. Driver door window not working.

I've never seen a Rivolta in blue. Whether this color is original remains to be debated, but I'd almost be inclined to keep it this color, especially if this was how it was manufactured. Clean Iso Rivoltas can fetch somewhere between $40,000 to $75,000 on average. Given this car's current, half restored state, you're probably looking at a car worth somewhere around $25,000 to $30,000. The mechanicals on this car would be easy enough to sort, but if any of the trim items are missing, this could be a maddening project. Given this is one of my favorite designs from the 1960s, for me, it would be worth it.


1979 Autobianchi A112 Abarth

While the Volkswagen GTI gets the lion's share of praise for kicking off the hot hatchback craze, the Italians did a lot to popularize it. Fiat has brought their fair share of fast three doors to the market over the past few decades, but another oddity crept up a lot earlier than the tuned versions of the Ritmo, Punto and Cinquencento. In 1971, Autobianchi launched the A112 Abarth, a small hatchback based around Fiat 127 mechanicals and badged also as the Lancia Y10. These diminutive hatchbacks were never sold here and few survive in good nick to this day. This particular A112 Abarth was brought over to the US a few years ago by a Dutch gentleman and offers those stateside a rare opportunity to get into a vintage Abarth at a reasonable price.

1979 Autobianchi A112 Abarth

Capri blue exterior, black Abarth front scooped hood, tan velour and vinyl interior, 5-Speed manual, twin two-barrel carburetor, 13" Campagnelo magnesium wheels, 43,000 original miles (69,000 km), two-spoke Abarth steering wheel. This A112 was imported to the States six years ago by a Dutchman in Texas. $13,500.

This same A112 Abarth was listed on eBay last year at $17,500. While the price has been reduced quite a bit, we're still a bit on the high side at $13,500. Just because a car is rare in the US doesn't automatically equate to added value. If you could snag this Abarth for around the same price of a similar vintage, well kept GTI, say, $8,000 to $10,000, I'd say it would be worth biting. At that price, you couldn't get much more Abarth bang for your buck.


1969 Bizzarini 1900 Europa

Bizzarini is one of those names bandied about that many enthusiasts may have heard of before but few are deeply familiar with. For a few short years in the 1960s, this company produced some of the most wild sports cars to hail from Italy. Founded by Giotto Bizzarini, an Italian engineer famous for his work with Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and involvement with Iso and the Rivolta, which we featured a few days ago. Bizzarini’s designs were low slung and featured both Corvette V8 engines and a V-12 of his own design. The 1900 Europe featured here was designed for Opel and based on the Opel 1900 chassis with their 1.9 liter four cylinder engine. Twenty were said to have been built, with five featuring a 1.5 liter Fiat four cylinder engine.

1969 Bizzarini 1900 Europa

Bizzarrini 1900 Europa, this particular Bizzarrini is the best exemple of the Bizzarrini Europa. Powered by a Opel 1900 cc, the car have been fully restore and his the best of the best. The car have powered windows, air co, leather. Documented, please call me if interested and you are welcome to test it.

I’ll admit that before viewing this auction, I had no idea of this car’s existence. However, I’m intrigued by it, as I always thought the larger 5300GT was a bit outlandish. This Europa scales down that idea nicely and has a delicate nature about it. A Europa came up for sale at a Coys auction in Padova, Italy and did not sell with a high bid of €90,000 (~ $110,000 USD). Bidding here has already surpassed that mark. Cars this rare are always harder to put a value on but one would guess the smaller engine Bizzarini would bring in less than the bigger engine machines. Or will it?


1965 ASA 1000 GT

Having realized success in the sports car and grand touring market on the coattails of a powerhouse racing team, Enzo Ferrari sought to introduce a car that would compete with sports cars that were a bit less expensive. One caveat, though, was that he did not want to slap a Ferrari badge on this car. Instead, he sold the production rights to the De Nora Electrochemical Group, which in turn marketed the new sports car under the ASA badge, short for Autocostruzioni Societa per Azioni.

The 1000 GT, as it was called, was a remarkable little sports car. Featuring an overhead cam, 1,032 cc four-cylinder engine designed by Ferrari, this powerplant was essentially part of what was originally a Colombo V12, and included the trademark clothes pin valves and was fed via two Weber 40 DCOE9 carburetors. Other forward thinking engineering touches included double wishbone suspension at the front end along with disc brakes at all four corners. The ASA 1000 GT would foreshadow the later Dino Ferraris in bringing exotic engineering to less well heeled customers. Fewer than 100 of these 1000 GT coupes were ever made and finding one in great condition like this one in California is a rare treat.

1965 ASA 1000 GT

The ASA 1000 GT was evolved from a concept for a small Ferrari in 1959. Eventually the rights for the design were transferred to Auto costruzioni Societa per Azioni, which was organised to produce the small GT. Under the shapely Giugiaro designed Bertone body was a chassis and engine by Giotto Bizzarini. Up front, it was supported by wishbones and coil springs with a live rear axle sporting helical springs and telescopic, hydraulic shock absorbers with reaction sprags. To complete the suspension the ASA received four wheel disc brakes. The jewel of an engine was an OHC four-cylinder unit displacing 1032 cubic centimetres and producing approximately 96 horsepower through a pair of Weber carburetors. This may not sound like much but, but in 1962 when the ASA was announced, the 1798cc MGB only generated 95hp and the base 1290cc Alfa Romeo Giulietta pumped out 91hp.

Compared to cars with similar engine displacement there was little comparison. The lovely crackle-finished ohc four was mated to a slick four speed transmission and like the best Italian engines the little OHC was born to rev. The interior leaves no doubt that the ASA 1000 GT is a true driver's car. The Nardi steering wheel offers a clear view of the large Jaeger tachometer, speedometer and five auxiliary gauges. With comfortable bucket seats and a roomy, well finished cockpit, it was clear that this was not an inexpensive car. Price proved to be the primary obstacle that faced this supremely competent automobile. In 1964, the price was approaching $6000 in the States. Not only was this tremendously expensive for a one-litre car in 1964, it was several hundred dollars more than a new Jaguar E-Type and about the same price as the brutally fast A.C. Cobra.

By 1967, the venture was terminated with fewer than 100 cars having been built. Eleven of these were officially produced in Spider form according to factory records of which a mere four survive today. The example I am proud to offer here is one of fixed head versions and looks great from most angles. The original numbers matching car was subject to a complete restoration on the East Coast back in 1991 to 1993. After completion the car participated in two New England 1000 Road Rallies where the car performed flawlessly. The car was subsequently sold to the previous owner in 1996 here in California where it spent much of its life garaged by its big brother, a beautiful Ferrari Lusso. After 15 years of hibernation I have brought this fantastic car back to life. Although the restoration is 20 years old it still presents well overall. The overall paint quality would be considered drivers status with minor flaws (minor bubbling due to prep flaws and minor chips from 20 years of life) the paint still has great shine and will hold its own at any Cars and Coffee. The trim and chrome looks near new, the interior still looks fresh with the leather soft and undamaged. All the Jaeger gauges function properly other than the clock. Car has just been inspected and serviced by a well respected shop in Los Angeles, Alfa Italia (they have been servicing vintage and classic Italian cars for over 20 years) which included; a complete flushing of the fuel, cooling and brake systems, a complete rebuild of the Weber carbs, new stainless exhaust, new axle seals and front wheel bearings, brand new period tires, a valve adjustment and of course fresh fluids throughout. These are unique cars that rarely make it to the open market, do not hesitate to bid or email me with any questions or requests you may have. (Original airbox is included in sale with misc. articles, notes from previous owners, and recent service history)

Short write up in Sports Car Digest:

For additional details visit: WWW.ASAREGISTER.COM

This 1000 GT coupe looks a bit like a Glass 1700GT has mated with a Maserati Mistral. Originally designed to be more affordable than your average Ferrari, these ASAs are now just as valuable as their bigger cousins. Given their rarity, it is hard to place values on such things, but a 1967 example sold for $81,400 at RM Auctions back in 2006. Six years later, it will be interesting to see if a similar example warrants an almost $40,000 premium over that figure. I would suspect a figure closer to $100,000 might be more realistic.